Re: Near disasterous first sail
Nice story! Lots of lessons learned, no serious damage - so not a bad day really. Some observations:
- Generally wives don't appreciate going out during the learning (or "oh cr*p") stage of sailing. It tends to be stressful and sometimes scary. Sometimes skippers even shout at them.
- Any loose line on a boat spontaneously tangles. Anything not carefully stowed leaps overboard, seemingly of its own volition.
- Personally I don't turn the engine off until the sails are raised and the sails are full.
- Can't help you with the slugs, as I don't know your boat...but generally on most boats I have sailed on all slugs are installed before you leave the dock, and sometimes the main held in place with sail ties to keep it there; some boats also have a helpful "flap" which closes the slot in the mast to prevent slugs from escaping.
- In gusty days, like in a Sunfish, get ready to dump (i.e. let out) the main with the gust (turning into it is also an option IF the centerboard is down). You know why :-) Boats over 30' often have the mainsheet out of the jam cleat when it is gusty.
After every sail I do, I tend to reflect on what I did, and what could have done better...
Don't worry, just persevere. Nowadays things happen which, as a beginner, would have left me curled up in a fetal position wimpering...but with familiarity of sailing in a bigger boat, you just roll your eyes and put Murphy back in his box and deal with it. Fair winds!